Sheldon speaks very excitedly about the idea of luminous fish, where he also says to Lenard:

We would be rich!

In the end of the episode (in which he gets his job back), we see that he has successfully experimented with luminous sheep.

So, why doesn't he monetise it, or at least publish the work?

  • 1
    Isn't the joke based on the fact that there is not nearly a big enough market for any kind of fish to make anyone rich? Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


Simple: It already existed.

Although in the context of the show that might be a different method of making Glowing Fish but still the show references real world things and movies and other trivia.

Therefore we can assume that in the universe in which the show is set contains copyrights and that GloFish might have existed in their universe.

Also I rewatched the entire episode. The GloFish are not as luminous as Sheldon's fish though.

  • So, doesn't he know he at the beginning of the show, and finally knows in by the end of it? <-- Safe assumption, maybe?
    – Dawny33
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 12:07
  • The wikipedia page shows that Glofish was introduced late in U.S where the show is set. Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 12:08
  • By show, I meant episode. He talks of it as a million-dollar idea in the beginning of the episode
    – Dawny33
    Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 12:51
  • @Dawny33 I meant that the idea of GloFish existed beforehand and yes he came to know at the end of the episode.Many inventors come to know that their product(or a similar one) already has been developed(sheer coincidence) and patented when they go to patent it. Commented Jun 11, 2016 at 14:53

This is a view from a user from the reddit community of TBBT, which is pretty convincing enough:

He's demonstrated that he's not interested in money. He's got a stack of unwashed paychecks in his desk drawer and this past season he offered a significant portion of his share of the patent money from their gyroscope to Howard.

In the linked post, there's a reference to Sheldon saying "we could be rich" but his head wasn't right then.

  • 1
    This is a good point but at that time sheldon might have considered other career prospects so he could have tried and found it already there as I said in my answer. I noticed now you are the original asker.:p Commented Jun 12, 2016 at 4:43

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